Books · butterflies · Friendship · Happy · Inspiration


Today I wanted to write the word ‘butterflies’ and found myself writing ‘beautiful’.

I have been on the search for positive news, heartwarming stories like that of musician Paul Harvey whose son recorded him improvising a song and now Sir Tom Hunter has donated a million pounds to split between Music for Dementia and The Alzheimer’s Society. (It’s worth reading the article right to the very last line!)

Rogie Falls this October – the beauty of Scotland.

Listening to an interview with Richard Osman from ‘Pointless’ I loved the fact that he mentioned there are ‘nice people out there’. It’s true, it’s just not often that the news chooses to focus on this. Why is that? Why is the news skewed to all the negative stories? Why was the one last positive story at the end of the news laughed at and finally removed?

Why don’t we demand that the news is more balanced, after all, aren’t we all trying to find more balance in our lives?

Reading the book ‘The Salt Path’ by Raynor Winn reminded me of the kindness of strangers. It was heartwarming while at the same time it did make me stop and think, am I that stranger?

The days grow colder and darker and we search for warmth, can we help spread a little warmth too?

I am reading ‘Hamnet’ by Maggie O’Farrell and ‘The Children of Castle Rock’ by Natasha Farrant.

Friendship · Inspiration · Seasons · Thank you


The other morning a lovely friend asked if I had written a blog post recently, in case she’d missed it.

Well, I hadn’t. The question, and the discussion that followed, inspired me though. I did have something I wanted to say, to share.



I wrapped up warmly and  watched a blackbird as he sat on a branch eating rowan berries. I listened to the cracking of ice on a puddle when I couldn’t resist stepping on it.  Then I went home to switch the kettle on for a hot cup of tea.

Reflecting on this I realise all the senses are covered apart from smell. Well, I think it was too cold!

Still, I have actually baked our Christmas cake – super early this year for me – and the smell of it baking was a real treat. This preparation, the making of the cake, is filled with hope.

As was planting the Hyacinth bulbs at the weekend and even, for my first time ever, planting an Amaryllis bulb. Watching Carole Baxter in the Beechgrove garden has inspired me and I thought I’d give it a go. Watch this space!

So a simple question about this blog has made me reflect on so many things, made me be grateful for friendships and realise how much hope there is at this time of year.

I wonder, what inspires you and gives you hope?

Molly hasn’t been sent to the corner. She has just found a new place to sit in the kitchen where her paws won’t slide on the floor. (She is of course hoping to get a treat!)



Friendship · Garden · Nature · Poetry · Seasons

Starting September


September spiders, weaving webs from window to washing line.

A new academic year, time to refresh, rethink, reconsider.

Will we look at the web we’ve built for ourselves?

This is a new beginning, brighter, warmer, sunnier than January 1st. Life is full of hope and possibilities. New opportunities.

September sun shining after a cleansing downpour and it’s time to declutter. Do I need quite so many things? Can they be recycled, reused?

It’s the same with the garden. Time to tidy up, wash out all the pots ready for next year.

Amidst these thoughts for the future, I’m going to take a moment to think of all the good things. Yes, it’s exhilarating to plan new adventures but I think the starting point must be where I celebrate all the lovely people in my life and the successes, large and small.

Wishing you a happy, sunny and successful September! What will you celebrate?

“By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.”
–  Helen Hunt Jackson, September, 1830-1885


Friendship · Inspiration


If 2018 were a book, I’d choose it from the shelf.

Empty pages would beckon.

Waiting for me to write the first line.

What adventures and new experiences will I include?thumb_IMG_8278_1024

The characters will be my family, friends, strangers I meet.

I hope the happy chapters will be longer than the sad.

I wish there would not be anger or hurt.

I’ll tint the page edges with gold, a dusting of fairy magic to grant the wishes within.

I’ll hope to fill the pages with love and leave the book open to share with others.

When 2018 draws to a close and the book is written, I’ll have changed. I will have travelled many roads both old and new but I know, throughout it all, I will not travel them alone.



Books · Friendship · Inspiration · Nature

Twittering on about Technology

I found myself watching the last fifteen minutes of The Apprentice this week.

One of the finalists was accused of being too cautious when it came to her use of technology. Well now, I thought, that I can understand! In fact, I’m sure my family would consider there to be a real similarity between me and the contestant in this regard!

It has taken me years to begin writing a blog.  I only recently joined Twitter. I have been sporadic on Facebook and I opened a Pinterest account years ago and have only recently put anything on it! Oh well, c’est la vie!


So on this cold morning as Jack Frost spreads his swirling spirals ever further, I began to think about it all and realised that technology has opened some interesting doors.

Through Facebook I’ve become a member of bookclubs and stayed in contact with my family and so many lovely people I’ve met on my travels.

It was on Twitter I heard about the centenary celebrations for Muriel Spark (of ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’ fame) including the exhibition at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh which is on my ‘to do’ list.


I discovered Robert Macfarlane’s ‘word of the day’ on Twitter. Linked to nature they are very inspiring and I love the way he adds in so many languages.

The lovely Rae Cowie introduced me to Goodreads and I’ve been having fun writing book reviews (and finding more book recommendations!).

I’m so encouraged by this way to share my love of reading, writing, nature, gardening and so on, there’s only one thing.

Just don’t tell my family! (They’ll never believe it!)


I couldn’t finish without saying a huge thank you to Small Beer Press for help with this website and to Shane Strachan and all at the Aberdeen Writers Room for their fantastic help and support!